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Appalled by AA retreat activity

Old 05-20-2012, 02:29 PM
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Appalled by AA retreat activity

My estranged husband has managed to stay sober since 7/2010, which I am very proud to say. He is very involved in AA and goes to at least one meeting a day but usually more or other AA activities.

He has been going to retreats with his AA home group. Although he has kept sober he has continued to addictively gamble. He has lied, borrowed money under false pretenses and shut almost everyone out of his life except for AA people. He has discussed his issue with his sponsor several times. At the last retreat, gambling for cash was an activity. My husband told me on accident as he thought I was asking him about this but I was actually asking about something else, I guess guilty conscious. He told me it was not an issue because he was made to be the dealer. I am completely sickened by this. Gambling is an addictive behavior and many times goes hand in hand with drinking. What kind of activitiy is this to have at a AA retreat?

I am wondering what the opinion of others is on this subject, maybe others that are involved in AA. In my eyes, gambling at an AA retreat is no different than taking drugs at an AA retreat and saying this isn't an NA retreat.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:33 PM
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I highly doubt there was gambling at an AA retreat. I'd have to see with my own eyes to believe it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:42 PM
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Yes I would think that too! It was told to me by my husband and it was confirmed by his sponsor, who is the head of the AA group. This is a very large AA group there are over 100 members that attend each week.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:46 PM
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I don't know if it was a sponsored activity, as I don't know what the retreats are like but it involved the majority of the group.

I wonder at times if this particular AA group is not the most healthy. I know AA is helpful for many people and most groups are beneficial but there has been many instances where this group seems very extereme and has had some unhealthy expectations.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:11 PM
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Your husband is responsible for his own recovery. It really isn't your problem to concern yourself with. This is one of those things over which you have absolutely no control.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by nbunderstanding View Post
It was told to me by my husband and it was confirmed by his sponsor, who is the head of the AA group. This is a very large AA group there are over 100 members that attend each week.
I don't know where your H is going to AA, but I've been in AA for 7 years and AA groups do not have "heads". Each meeting is chaired by a different person and you might chair once every other week if the meeting is every day.

If this is a weekly meeting, I don't know, I don't really go to those. A weekly retreat? As in he stas the night? Please elaborate on how this works. This smells very fishy to me.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:31 PM
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Wouldn't it be ironic if folks are getting drunk at gambling addiction support meetings? Then like, every five years, we rotate members~~~~

kidding of course, just kidding
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by scrambled2012 View Post
Wouldn't it be ironic if folks are getting drunk at gambling addiction support meetings? Then like, every five years, we rotate members~~~~

kidding of course, just kidding
Now that's an idea! Ha ha!
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:33 PM
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Well, every year there is an AA convention in Sparks Nevada
held at Asquaga's Nugget, and yes many that go to the Convention
do gamble the whole 4 days. That btw was the only casino I
was ever 86'd out of during my 'active' years, lol

It was interesting to go there sober about 3 years, to see if I
had a gambling problem. Turned out that I did not, I would do
all that gambling because the drinks were FREE.

Not the case for my second husband who was sober in AA,
however, while we were married, he switched addictions to
gambling, and never was able to stop that.

As to this 'AA Group' he belongs to, sounds kind of 'hinky' to me.

Sounds more like some of the 'fellows' from the AA group are
having 'weekend retreats' at a cabin some where just so they
can gamble. Does not sound good to me ...................

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:51 PM
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My ex used to buy those scratch off cards and such, but I thought it was a waste of money that could be spent on beer.

But it certainly does not seem like a good idea to get a group of addicted people together to gamble.

It was interesting to go there sober about 3 years, to see if I
had a gambling problem. Turned out that I did not, I would do
all that gambling because the drinks were FREE.
LOL If I were still drinking you bet I would suddenly find an interest in gambling.

Beth
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:56 AM
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Sounds like they are trading one addiction for another.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:59 AM
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That's the strangest AA retreat I've ever heard of. Really. So many alcoholics have cross over addictions it seems very odd they would put them in a position that could trigger one of the other addictions. Doesn't sound like a very healthy
retreat to me.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:06 AM
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I spoke at an AA convention a few years ago that was held at a "Casino/hotel" location ~ several committee members had discussions about the location of the convention because of the "casino, drinking, etc." atmosphere ~

This year they moved to another location.

Since he continues to be involved in unhealthy behaviors this seems to be the part where YOUR recovery has to become stronger ~ where you have to take good care of you ~ set your boundaries and do what is healthiest for you ~

wishing you the best

PINK HUGS,
Rita
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:44 AM
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1. If you guys are estranged his tomfoolery with money doesn't affect your finances, does it? (Assuming not.) So the good news is you don't have to care.

2. To answer your question on whether it's a terrible idea. "Gambling for cash" can mean a lot of things.

A. Casino? A bad idea not because of the addiction angle but just because they're a stupid waste of money.
B. High-stakes poker games as entertainment? Kinda dumb, if people are potentially losing more than 50 bucks or so. Just because newly recovered people especially are most likely in a financial mess anyway and don't need to be losing more.
C. Informal card games or whatever with low stakes (like capped at 20 dollars loss or something)? Not a big deal.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:01 AM
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alot still smoke- but don't see how it effects you.....you should "work the program you wish he would work"- as my councelor says get back in my own "hoola-hoop"
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:14 PM
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Didn't you say he's estranged? This is his path and recovery isn't a shared process. The best thing you can do for him is stay out of it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:08 AM
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I'm afraid I have to push back regarding the views that this "couldn't happen" at an AA retreat.

In my area, there was, for years, a large group that was headed up by a married couple. It was a Monday night meeting with several different meeting styles and a couple hundred people used to go.

Each fall, this couple would organize a "step retreat" at a nearby resort. Attendees paid a fee and the weekend consisted of various meetings and workshops.

Sounds ok...except for a couple of things, which I didn't know until I went on the retreat myself. Otherwise, I would not have believed it: there was so much hooking up between the men and women that I felt like I was at a swinger's convention. Lots of oldtimer men pursuing the younger women; the worst offender being the husband of this couple. I found out later, too, that the thing was a money-making venture for the couple. The fee everyone paid was higher than the actual cost of the retreat, and they pocketed the difference.

Now, I'm not going to say this was a normal or typical AA retreat. I went on many other retreats during my AA tenure that were absolutely fine, and in fact I ran a few myself. But to say that untoward things can't happen at an AA retreat? Of course they can.
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